A customer leaving a Route 58 grocery store was reportedly targeted as a victim of some variation of “the knockout game” after being thrown to the ground by a man while a group of teens watched on laughing Tuesday afternoon, Riverhead Town police said.
The victim said she was walking out of King Kullen shopping center about 12:10 p.m., bags in hand, when she saw a man running at her from the distance, according to a report.
After changing her direction in an attempt to avoid him, the man followed, and “deliberately ran into her at full speed,” police said.
The woman, who suffers from scoliosis, was knocked to the ground, her purchases scattered around her. However she did not suffer any injuries, authorities said.
When looking back at the direction the man can from, she said a group of “teens” started laughing as the man ran away from her, the report reads.
She told police she feels she was a victim of some variation of the “knock-out game,” according to the report.
The Knockout Game — in which a single person in a group assaults a stranger, usually blindsiding them with a hit to the head while other group members watch on — has become more and more commonplace in New York and across the nation leading in several cases to serious injury and even death, according to state lawmakers.
The incident follows the assault of a 52-year-old Brentwood woman who was allegedly punched in the head by three teens about 3 p.m. March 7, causing her to fall to the ground, according to county police.
The teens — Wilfredo Torres, 17, of Brentwood, Wayne Beavers, 16, and Qwa Tese Jarvis, 16, both of Bay Shore — were arrested on Monday, and each charged with charged with third-degree assault, according to a report.
Assemblyman Jim Tedisco (R-Glenville) proposed legislation in November to increase the penalty of individuals involved in the knockout game, considering it a gang assault punishable by up to 25 years in prison — and would ensure that juveniles who “play the Knockout Game” are sentenced as adults, according to a release from Mr. Tedisco’s office.